greg (grysar) wrote,

Yet more reviews

Florida weather has been rather nice to me the past few days, finally up to the temperature where I can wear shorts in total comfort. Yay! Sunsets have also been consistently wonderful, think it's the mix of cloud patterns combined with the total horizon view offered by a western coast. Maryland's somewhat polluted skies offer a different and also wonderful appeal, although the ones down here are more consistent.

Oh, and slight concession to current memes
[Arrogant?] I take beautiful skies personally.

Right, so what have I been doing, more film fest which I'll get to in a cut shortly. Done some walking and swimming, just in the pool though, no ocean.

Also had a rather nasty albiet amusing string of bad luck the other day. I'm bread mix, one of the from box things, and I screw up when reading the pan size and think it wants a 13x19 pan rather than a 13x9. That makes a different when spreading. So i mess up the preparation a bit and Mom's mildly annoyed when she gets home to do the part of the meal she was working on. I proceed to spill chili on myself when putting it in serving bowls, I prevented a mug from falling by clutching it to myself, a helpful if messy instinct.

Go and change shirts, scoff and Mom's assertion that maybe I should wait until meal is done just to be safe. Take the two bowls, put them on a tray, take it out to the balcony, only to slam into the closed glass door spilling yet more chili on myself and some on the rug. The fact that I went on to have a good day rather pleased me.

Why is foreign film so foreign panel: 2.5
Just a few things here I didn't learn from my class, unfortunately the Indian director (Of Earth, Fire, and Bollywood/Hollywood) who was supposed to be there got delayed, so it was far less cool. Main thing of note, there was this pretentious lover of french film who mentioned that Americans have no culture and even wore a little scarf around his next. He was a great stereotype, it made the discussion more fun. :P

Inherit the Wind: 4 (the play itself, playhouse we sometimes go to down here, I'm just lumping it in with reviews as that's my idiom at the moment)

Good production, the two main courtroom adversaries were both well acted and that's what really matters. I enjoyed the play itself, which I hadn't seen before, even if it was a bit heavy handed at times. I was particularly pleased that the William Jennings Brian character was actually developed and sympathetic, while being obviously wrong.

Thursday: Eh, I'll do this with Gigantic tomorrow, too tired now.

Friday: Took bus into town to see Fidel. Parents saw 'Last Place on Earth' which they said was really good and the whole audience liked, while I saw Martin and Orloff. I drove them back and then drove back to Sarasota later to see Interrogation.Fidel: 2
This was a subtle and well put together propaganda piece. It was clearly out to prove that Castro was a great man and talk about his time as a revolutionary and after the revolution his fight against colonialism and American imperialism world wide. I knew its politics going in, but hoped that a bit of a biased history lesson and good footage would be worth it, on the whole it was.

The grade is so low because its not intellectually honest. In one segment, Mike Wallace starts asking Castro about why Cuba isn't democratic, he gives a fairly weak BS response and it cuts off Wallace's follow up. This was in a segment on fawning celebs and Fidel's fans in his most recent visit to the U.N., I suppose it does say something that the Wallace bit was in there at all. However, I'm not willing to accept a film lionizing someone, without being willing to address the primary fairminded accusations against them. At one point a commentator mentions, 'Well most politicians don't want to talk about their personal life, Castro has the power to say no.' I'm paraphrasing and the comment was slightly lighter and funnier. Except, yeah, he can say no because he censors the media.

Nonetheless, this really is an incredibly subtle bit of propaganda. It is clearly aimed at a U.S. moderate to liberal audience. It does mention some of our bad acts but doesn't demonize the U.S. or really try to take on capitalism. It also talks about the exile community in a 'those wacky guys' tone that's quite effective at being dismissive.

In a fairness note, if I strongly agreed with the ideology, I may have bumped this up to a three.

Martin and Orloff: 5
This was by Upright Citizen's Brigade people and friends (cameos by Andy Richter and others). I found it to be pretty damn funny, and the director who was there was also quite interesting and had some great stories. The movie itself is essentially like a SNL movie, except funny. I was sufficently amused that I'll shill for them. Martin and Orloff Movie site.

I'll give the stories when I'm less sleepy.

Interrogation of Michael Crowe: 3 (2)

Short version: Real story, 14 year old kid gets intimidated into confessing to sister's murder when he's not guilty. Since the interrogation was taped, it's pretty easy to tell that the confession is highly sketchy at best. Theme: All interrogations should be taped. Which is true enough, I gave it a three in ideological sympathy.

Trouble is, didn't have confidence in it's material. It should have just stuck with recreating bits of the interrogation, the child actor they had was good, and this stuff was practically painful to watch (in the quality way). Trouble is they threw in a made-for-tv movie rest of the story (This was actually a court TV made for TV movie, didn't realize that going in). Would have been a lot better and more powerful if it just stuck with the interrogation, and threw in some explanatory bits. See Homicide Episode: The Box. (really, see it, good stuff, or read the book).

On a related note Giancarlo Esposito, a Homicide actor was there, but I've decided on a don't harrass celebs for autographs unless I'm actually a huge fan policy. Some court TV forensic file celeb was actually sitting next to me, which was moderately amusing from my persepctive. Nonetheless, probably could have found better use for my time than going back to see this. As from Homicide, I know all this interrogation stuff.

All that remains is Giagantic: A tale of Two Johns. A film about TMBG. I actually never really got into them, although I like their music and think the movie will probably be pretty cool.
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